Ingres was neither a revolutionary, nor a conservative, nor a romantic. Most of all he was interested in the form. Not an ideal form, but associated with the originality of the depicted objects.
"Consul Napoleon" - the first Napoleonic portrait of authorship of Ingres.
The second portrait was painted two years later, when Napoleon was already emperor.
We see a portrait of a young man in a red velvet uniform. He stands at full height next to the table, putting his right hand on a scroll. Already then the famous Napoleonic gesture was born - the left hand is hidden over the side of the uniform. In the background there is a dark drapery and matching curtains that further emphasize the solemnity of the moment. The castle is visible from the window.
Ingres was the first to reduce art to a peculiar vision of the artist. Despite the fact that his canvases have a classical orientation, his work was very interested in artists of the next generations of impressionists, post-impressionists and even Pablo Picasso himself.
Napoleon was interested in Ingres not so much as a great conqueror, but as a historical figure, capable of setting goals and achieving them. In the understanding of the artist, Bonaparte is the hero of France.
Ingres has never been a battle painter. Therefore, the picture depicts not General Napoleon, a man with a unique military career who has already gone through a number of well-known campaigns, but the politician Napoleon, who completely changed the political life of the country. This can be seen in the civilian clothing of the consul, in his facial expressions conveyed by the artist.
To some extent, the picture was unsuccessful. Ingres was about to send the portrait to the exhibition, but by then Napoleon had taken the imperial title. Accordingly, the picture in which he was depicted as a consul, lost its relevance.
Today, the “portrait of the consul” is considered one of the best images of the young Napoleon.
Picture Shishkin Oak Grove Description